The Falcon 9 launch vehicle on Sunday should launch a new group of 60 American mini-satellites designed to start creating a global Starlink system’s Internet coverage network, SpaceX said.
The launch of the SpaceX two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is planned to be carried out around 10:25 UTC (18:25 Moscow time) from the NASA cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
As reported, the initial launch was planned to be carried out on February 15, however, due to adverse weather conditions, it was postponed for a day because of the unfavorable weather conditions for landing on the floating platform of the reusable first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which will be used for the fourth time.
This will be the fourth launch into the orbit of a group of Internet satellites, starting in May last year, as part of the Starlink project. Currently, the SpaceX orbital constellation already consists of 180 spacecraft.
SpaceX plans to deploy an orbital constellation of 12 thousand satellites of this type (and subsequently from 30 thousand) to create a full-blown network that will provide Earth’s inhabitants with broadband Internet access anywhere in the world. It is assumed that all of them will be put into orbit after 2020. The total investment for the project is estimated at $ 10 billion.
The owner of SpaceX, Elon Musk, said that to ensure minimum coverage, at least six missile launches with 60 satellites, that is 360, will be required, and for the average, 12 launches, which will create a group of 720 devices.
SpaceX is one of a number of companies seeking to place large orbiting constellations of satellites in orbit to provide global Internet coverage. Among them are OneWeb, Telesat, LeoSat and Amazon. As reported, OneWeb also launched the first six satellites of its own system into orbit last February.